|UCAOA Offers Comments on Proposed Medicare Payment Policies|
UCAOA submitted comments on September 6 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the Calendar Year 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule. In its comments, UCAOA offered support of CMS’ proposal to modify the 24/7 access requirements for providers who want to bill Medicare for Chronic Care Management (CCM) codes. In the proposed rule, CMS’ acknowledged that there is substantial local variation in how 24/7 access for urgent care needs are achieved, including contractual relationships between physician practices and other sites of service, including urgent care centers. CMS’ proposed changes would allow primary care providers to more easily meet the CCM billing requirements if they contract with urgent care centers for their patient’s acute care needs, including evenings and weekends.
Other topics on which UCAOA commented included:
CMS is expected to publish the final rule on or about Nov. 1, 2016.
CMS Acting Director Pledges Flexibility with New Payment System Roll-Out
On Sept. 8, 2016, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt acknowledged the concerns expressed by the medical community and by lawmakers regarding the implementation timeline for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and pledged that the final regulations will offer more flexibility for physicians.
Physicians will be exempt from payment penalty in 2019 if they choose any one of the following four options:
In June, UCAOA commented to CMS on its proposed rule for implementing MACRA and in that letter stated that greater accommodations were needed for small practices, and, in particular for eligible clinicians who practice in urgent care centers, to successfully participate in MIPS.